It seems like whenever a TV series
wants to shift things into overdrive, they call on Heather Locklear. Locklear has become the television
equivalent of a shut-it-down relief pitcher, joining a game that is
already in progress and ensuring the home team hold on to the lead.
The lovely Miss Locklear has been
a staple on our television screens since the early 1980s. She
had been a teen working her way through UCLA when she took a guest
starring role on the popular show CHiPs. This guest
shot brought her to the attention of TV super-producer Aaron
Spelling, who championed her career for the next two decades.
By 1982, Locklear had the very unique situation of being a star on
two concurrent popular series: playing spoiled heiress Sammy Jo
Carrington in the classic nighttime soap Dynasty from
1981-1989 as well as perky young cop Stacy Sheridan on TJ Hooker
This alone would be enough to make
Locklear a TV star, but for her it was just the beginning. In
the early 90s, Locklear was signed on to a four-episode arc on a
recently debuted series called Melrose Place, which was
having trouble finding its footing. Locklear came in and took
the apartment complex and series by storm - her character of Amanda
Wentworth became a 1990s icon. When Melrose went off
the air in 1999, Locklear shook things up, taking a break from her
dramatic roots and joining Michael J. Fox's popular sitcom Spin City
right after Fox announced his battle with Parkinson's disease.
Locklear played off of Fox for his final season with the show, and
then helped the show convert to new lead Charlie Sheen for two more
seasons. Since the show went off the air in 2002, Locklear has
been brought in for recurring roles in such established series as
Scrubs, Boston Legal, Rules of Engagement, LAX, Hot in Cleveland
and the attempted reboot of Melrose Place.
Her latest gig is shaking up TNT's
lawyer dramedy Franklin & Bash. She plays Rachel King,
a smart, savvy lawyer brought into the firm Infield and Daniels by
the firm's head (Malcolm McDowell) to run things, meaning she
occasionally has to babysit the firm's loose cannon litigators Jared
Franklin (Breckin Meyer) and Peter Bash (Mark-Paul Gosselaar).
A couple of weeks before her debut
in the third season premiere of the series, Locklear was nice enough
to talk with us and a few other media outlets about her show and her
When you first
joined the cast, was there instant chemistry between you and Mark
and Breckin or did it take a bit of time for you all to gel?
You know what?
I think anyone have instant chemistry with those two boys. So that
was pretty much right away. They were joking and laughing right
What was it
about the role that interested you in being a part of this show?
It's sort of a comedy mixed with a drama.
because of that. That's different. Also because I never played a
lawyer before. And when shows are on a couple seasons already, it's
always nice to go in on that when they are well-oiled machines.
I was curious
what brings you back to being a series regular after being away for
a couple years?
Well the very
fact that the show does because it's really good and funny. I've
always loved being on TV. I loved being in a series. I love having a
regular place to go to all the time. So it's never been surprising
that I'd want to be back on a series.
going to pull any Amanda shenanigans on the show?
Well, I think
she does towards the end. You think she is. But she's really not
pulling shenanigans. She does have a few sexcapades.
What do you
like about the character?
I like that
she's strong. She's well educated and knows world leaders and knows
her stuff. Business.
McDowell is such an amazing actor. His character's obviously going
through a bit of a personal crisis in the first couple of episodes
that I saw for the new season.
Yes. Do you
see Rachel and Stanton sort of having a power struggle over the firm
down the line? And what is he like to work with?
You know, I do
see that down the line. I mean, yes I do see that a little bit,
because he hands over the reins to her to get everyone in shape. And
then I step on toes a bit. But it's so fun working with
Malcolm. He's so twinkly and sparkly and such fun. Have you met him?
with him. I interviewed him before.
Oh. Isn't he
Yes. He is a
really wonderful guy.
what I think.
Now was it fun
to do the Piers Morgan scene with the guys? It was sort of an
interesting way they'll introduce your character?
good? The ending, when I win the bet? The best I've ever bet it on.
I loved that. I was there in person live and saw everything.
It feels like
your character is sort of setting up Reed Diamond's character almost
to have someone on her side – maybe a lackey or maybe more. How do
you see that relationship proceeding?
It goes back
and forth. Sometimes doing it for the good of him and also he's
Stanton's nephew. But also she doesn't always respect everything he
does, in her thought process.
the actor version of the star relief pitcher in baseball. You have
this history of coming into the TV show that's been going for a year
or two or three and then making your presence known very forcefully.
How did this sort of become your thing or is it just sort of an
I think it's
great but it's so much pressure. It's nice. It's a compliment. But
[only] if somebody thinks that it's a compliment. But really I think
I'm just bringing something to the show and some press to the show
helps everyone become aware of it, because it's a good show on its
own. With or without me it's really good, funny and fun. So maybe
they just think there would be more press coverage.
How much do
you like playing a lawyer? And also, if we were to drive you over to
a real courthouse and drop you off, how long do you suppose you
could fake it before being found out as a fraud?
probably fake it for the beginning. The opening. I can open. Then
when somebody's saying something that I don't understand on the
other side, the defense side or something, I'd cave real quick. It's
really hard. Some of the legalese is hard. Like trying to figure out
what it all is and what it all means before I say it.
like a foreign language, right?
Can you talk
about how Stanton brings her in so easily? Why do you think that is?
Also can you talk about how Rachel seems to want to make her mark
I think she's
known in the circles of the lawyers enough. She's well known and I
think that's why he brings her in. She's looking to raise the bar.
She wants to be a part of this team and Stanton she really
appreciates. But she's only going there if she gets the full reign
to run the show. So it's a good fit.
premiere she breaks up Franklin and Bash's office. Can you talk
about how she's kind of making her mark in that way?
Kind of bratty
but you do have to. They're kind of bratty. So you do have to
separate them. I think she wants to yield her power over them and
show them what she can do. She means business.
Kind of a
follow up to an earlier question. Because of your popularity
especially on television series, you must get many offers. What was
it about this show that made you say yeah, this is the show that I
want to do?
Let me tell
you something. I don't get many offers. I get all offers. I don't
get many. I'm not going to tell what I get. I get a few, maybe. But
just because it's like... I loved Boston Legal. I loved
Ally McBeal. It's similar to that. It's a fun show. And it was
different than what I've done. Is it dramedy? More of a comedy.
I'm getting an
interesting vibe from the character. Is she who she seems to be or
does she have a hidden agenda that we aren't yet aware of?
I think she's
pretty straightforward. She's pretty straightforward. There's some
things that might look like a hidden agenda later on. At the very
end it might seem like she's got something up her sleeve. But really
In the first
two episodes we see her being this really tough boss. But are we
actually going to get to see her in action and she's going to go in
and try cases...
Is she going
to be as brilliant as Franklin & Bash?
I don't think
so. Me, Heather, doesn't think so. But she thinks so. (laughs)
Because I think they're brilliant. I think they're great. She does
it by the books and they don't.
Morgan scene, what was it like doing that scene? That was just kind
of wacky opening to introduce yourself to the show.
Yes. Oh, what
was it like? It was really fun. We didn't do the Piers Morgan part
until, you know, maybe halfway through the season. But it was
really, really fun. I didn't know how it was going to end up. I mean
I did know. I read how it was going to end up that scene but I
didn't know if the guys were really going to go all the way on the
How all the
way were they?
Okay. I saw
the back. And it covered. Yes I think it was kind of covered them.
But I didn't see the front. It was really fun. They have very nice
And they were
probably very cold I must say.
you, I didn't see the front. I don't know.
played along pretty well with this? He's a serious journalist, isn't
Yes. He was
good. He was good. We asked him questions about his show and about
the people who are on it. He was really being nice. I told him that
I wanted to bet him, too. Yeah. But he wouldn't go for it.
looking forward to Michael J. Fox's series this fall too?
So excited. So
happy for him. Aren't you happy for him?
everybody is, aren't they? But we're all going to give him a shot.
I think the
world is happy. They just want to see him and they want to see him
doing well. I saw him at one of the press things. It was great.
You said that
you wanted to play a lawyer. What is left on your bucket list to
goodness. Serious lawyer. I don't know. I don't know. Maybe a...
be the next role you have.
I'll say that and then you'll ask the same question. I'll go I
haven't thought of it.
What can we
expect from your character in this upcoming season that we haven't
seen in the first two episodes?
Oh. I think
more of the same. You'll see her not having such power over the
guys. They start figuring out ways to get around her and not follow
her every order. So she loses a little bit of power. I think she's
entertained by them. She's proud of their wins. She admires that.
But they need to follow the rules and go by the book. For the
reputation of the firm, what she's all about.
Is it as much
fun working with them off set? Are they the same off camera as they
are on camera?
They are the
same. They might be worse. Or better. Whichever way you want to look
at it. No, they're awesome. But they're together. I've never had a
scene with just one of them. They're always together, like a couple.
Like can we talk for a moment? No. Have to have both of us. Funny.
Could you have
imagined when you got started that you'd be still doing a TV show like 25 years later?
It's crazy. I'm really fortunate and lucky in that. There's some
talent there, but I think there's just being fortunate. Like had
things come to you in life.
When you look
back at it, is it a career? I mean are there things that you were
just well I was offered this and I like this and that's what I did?
I just went I
like this. I like this. This is good. I don't like this but I need
to do that. Yes. I think I just liked what I liked and that's all
there is to it.
things that stand out that, that if you were going to name things
that were your favorites?
Oh, I loved
Melrose Place. I loved Spin City. Both of them with
Michael [J. Fox] and Charlie [Sheen]. And I loved doing Saturday
Night Live. That was fun.
You were just
mentioning how cool it is that
Bash mixes the comedy with the drama. Over the years you've done
lots of both. Obviously Spin City for comedy and things like
Melrose Place for the drama. Do you prefer one or find one
easier or harder than the other?
I like going
to work when it's comedy because that means light and fun. But the
drama is easier for me. Maybe something I guess about the writing
part. The dramedy is kind of hard though – to know when you're
serious and when you're not. How to play it. I mean always it's
always serious. Then it comes off funny. That's a little bit harder.
so many iconic roles over the years. Is there any role that you feel
is the most like you as a person and one that you find that was like
the biggest stretch for you as an actress?
stretch would be on Melrose: Amanda Woodward. The one most
similar to me would probably be Caitlin of Spin City.
I was hearing
that Jane Seymour is going to be on the show and without giving away
any spoilers, I heard that somehow you end up kissing her. What was
she like working with and how does that come about?
She's great. I
don't know how it came about. But I know that one of the executive
producers was like "How do you feel about kissing a woman?" I'm like
I've done it before. On screen, not in real life. Then she said,
"How do you feel about kissing Jane Seymour? I go I haven't done it
before. Be nice to try. (laughs) So we had a couple of scenes
together and one where she was the aggressor. Yes she was.
Can you talk
about your favorite moments or something that you think fans must
One of them is in the last episode. I think the last
episode, but I don't tend to give anything away there. I loved doing
the one with Piers Morgan and the guys. It was just really fun and
funny and nice to be not on our set but on Piers Morgan's set. And
how it ends, you know, and that was really hilarious.
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